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The Allure of Mass Murder
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“Seems the more people you kill, the more you are in the limelight.”

That blog post on the email address of Oregon mass-murderer Christopher Harper-Mercer was made after Vester Lee Flanagan shot and killed that Roanoke TV reporter and her cameraman.

“I have noticed,” said the blog post, “that people like [Flanagan] are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who you are.”

Harper-Mercer had found the key to his future, and given us a truism for our time.

For the world now knows who Harper-Mercer is.

We have seen his face on TV. We have read how he murdered eight students and a teacher at Umpqua Community College, how those who admitted to being Christian were executed in front of the class with a bullet to the brain.

When detectives arrived, Harper-Mercer was wounded in a firefight, fled back to his bloody classroom and shot himself. From start to finish, the worst shooting in Oregon’s history lasted half an hour.

When the news broke, predictably, President Obama was back in the White House briefing room calling for new laws to control the sale of guns.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” said Rahm Emanuel.

Yet it is hard to find an episode where new gun laws would seem less relevant. For what took place at Roseburg, Oregon, was a planned massacre by a man full of hate who had decided to end his life in a blaze of infamy, by suicide, or suicide-by-cop, so he could become as famous as the killers of Columbine, Ft. Hood, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson, Virginia Tech and Charleston.

Harper-Mercer wanted to die as a mass-murderer.

Is someone driven by such hatred, such determination to have us know who he is, going to be deterred by a new federal statute that says he cannot acquire the guns he needs to succeed, out of 300 million guns in America?

Roseburg reinforces the case made by the NRA.

Often, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That’s who finally stopped Harper-Mercer. Regrettably, none of the innocent dead at Umpqua was carrying a concealed weapon.

Prediction: We are going to have more of these massacres.

Why? Because we rewarded Harper-Mercer for his barbarity in the currency he craved, the only currency he cared about: fame and immortality in this world. Before Oct. 1, Harper-Mercer was a nobody, a loser, a recluse with no girlfriend. For a brief time, this nobody has become as notorious as John Dillinger and Jesse James.

The lesson of Roseburg?


If you are sick of life and hate the world, you can end it in a way that makes that world take notice of who you were. If you are willing to shoot a dozen unarmed people, and die in a blaze of gunfire, TV will interrupt its broadcasting to report on who you are, what you did, and to read on-air selections from your fiery final manifesto.

The Charleston killer Dylan Roof had photos of himself waving the Battle Flag shown to all of America. The Roanoke killer took cellphone photos while shooting the woman reporter.

Moreover, society is producing more and more dead souls like Harper-Mercer, who crave the same reward.

The child of a broken family, he was taught in schools from which the Ten Commandments had been ruthlessly expunged. He grew up in a deracinated society whose reverence for human life is testified to by 55 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, and by video games where killing of simulated human beings is treated as a participant sport.

In the country of yesterday, “Thou shalt not kill” was the word of God, and the penalty for breaking God’s law and man’s law was not only execution, but the loss of one’s soul.

How many still believe that?

We have a drug culture where those with mental illness are prescribed ever more powerful antidepressants. And modernity has no convincing answer to the eternal question, “Why not?”

Across the secularized West, in the thousands, young men are being attracted to the Islamic State to become suicide bombers. The drawing card? Footage of anti-Islamists being beheaded on a beach.

And the reward that Islamists offer to their suicide bombers?

Not too different from ours. We make our monsters media celebrities of the moment. The Islamic State makes them martyrs for Allah who spend eternity in paradise.

In a de-Christianized America where no higher law exists, killing is a commonplace occurrence, and the popular culture is polluted by raw sex and violence, what answer does society give to the Harper-Mercers who are willing to kill in large numbers to become famous?

We are not the rules-based society we once were. We have junked the Christian code, embraced absolute social freedom, and dispensed with the moral sanctions.

Yet instead of the Great Society of liberalism’s promise, we seem to be approaching a society that is sick unto death.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

Copyright 2015

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Gun Control 
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  1. Escher says:

    I won’t be surprised if this psycho was hopped up on psychiatric meds like many of his ilk.

    • Replies: @JEGG
  2. unit472 says:

    The Columbine killers were the exception that proved the rule. These rampage killers are invariably isolated mental misfits that, had their mental health records been on the data base gun dealers use for background checks, would have been denied permission to buy the weapons they used for their rampage.

    While nothing can stop an Adam Lanza or Chris Harper Mercer from acquiring firearms if a mom allows her mentally ill child to use hers, in almost every other recent rampage killing the killer went out and legally purchased their firearm in the days and weeks immediately prior to their crimes even though they were known to be mentally ill and seeking psychiatric help! The problem is health privacy laws not a lack of gun laws.

    Jared Loughner had been kicked off campus because of his mental health problems. Seung Cho had been ordered to receive psychiatric help by Virginia Tech. James Holmes had voluntarily sought help for his deteriorating mental issues, Aaron Alexis was being prescribed psychotropic medication to quiet the voices in his head and yet ALL of them were able to purchase firearms because their mental health records were confidential under federal law and did not show up on the data base used by gun dealers to conduct background checks. This is ‘insanity’.

    Licensed mental health professionals must be required to enter the names of those they have treated to police. It does not mean their names will be made public only that gun dealers cannot sell them a firearm without having a hearing whereby their current mental health status can be evaluated.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
  3. the title made me think Pat was going to discuss Congress’ s speeches on the Iran deal and how Iran was not capable of being trusted, understood only force, and should be threatened with ever harsher constraints on its economy if not, indeed, just bombing them to kingdom come.

    my mistake.

    Pat is not talking about the mentally dysfunctional cretins who make US law, he’s talking about the mentally dysfunctional cretins who mimic them.

  4. People will not like what I say, but I think it is relevant.

    In nature those on the bottom of the pecking order are quietly destroyed, that is just the way it happens, it is accepted as “right”. If you do not know this you need to get around more. Human societies have always been pretty harsh to boot.

    Our modern sympathies have led us to want all to survive, to be “self actualized”, to “realize all their potential”. That is not the way Nature works.

    My point is not about whether or not these must die, but about the fact that most people do not even begin to understand the amount of pain suffered by those on the bottom. I was a shy child and did not fit, but I learned that the “bump and run” was not about destroying me, but just a natural urge for conformity. That’s just the way life works. Many do not learn that, the “bump and run” of life remains an existential threat.

    People who lash out like this feel that life offers them no other alternative. In nature they would be right and that is what most do not realize. They are going down like cornered rats.

    I have no solutions to offer, just an observation.


    • Replies: @suckYOUbus
  5. Society as a whole is what is screwed up: if it is wrong for one person to do something, it is wrong for a group of people to do it.

    Man will never become human until that is an innate part of his behavior. Good luck with that.

    • Replies: @another fred
    , @Johann
  6. @Drapetomaniac

    “Society” is the temporal result of about 3 billion years of evolution (or the diktat of god, if you wish). On what pedestal do you sit to judge its screwedupness?

    If you adhere to the norms of any “Abrahamic” faith you must accept that the nature of the world is foreseen and foretold. Do you judge the wisdom of God?

    If you accept evolution as fact, by what logic do you judge that we should be the “crown of creation”?

    Chill out.

  7. @another fred

    Forthright comment and searing, brutally honest insight sir. So what happened ? How did you “make it”???

  8. “Prediction: We are going to have more of these massacres.”

    As long as we drug so many people with psychotropic drugs, that’s true.

  9. JEGG says:

    I’m quite sure that Harper-Mercer suffered from Asperger’s and was not what is normally considered to be mentally ill. We as a society need to deal with the issue of Asperger’s and mass murder, but it’s going to be hard to do because of the influence of powerful autism spectrum groups.

  10. Johann says:

    It is quite ironic that on the day the god president of the American Empire was ranting about his new anti gun laws following the shooting in Oregon that his Pentagon goons were bombing a hospital in Afghanistan where twice as many humans were murdered by American government munitions. Somehow Obama like the rest of his criminal administration thinks that killing people in the name of the New World Order or whatever is virtuous whereby some homicidal maniac killing people on a campus is an abomination. The new morality of the American Empire is very interesting and no doubt will continue whether Joe Biden or Hillary take over the Supreme American Soviet.

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